Tangent: Kambanchi and Buystarter

So in an effort to try and become more organized and structured in my game design life, I’ve recently started using Google Keep as my web homepage, encouraging me to finally keep to-do lists and such. While I’ve theoretically had a to-do list as a recurring Outlook reminder, and Outlook has a great Task functionality, a recent spate of listening to the Board Game Design Lab podcasts (fantastic website and series, btw!) encouraged me to not only do this, but to use a psychology trick in the process: putting lots of small, almost effortless tasks on the list, so tackling the occasional big object feels like a continuation of my momentum rather than trying to roll the boulder up the hill from scratch.


It is sooo much easier to complete the last task on a list of 20, then to complete that task all by itself. True story.

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Impressions: Warhammer 40K 8th Edition

For those who might not have heard, games Workshop has announced the dawning of Warhammer 40K’s 8th edition, and have a FAQ up before the ruleset has even dropped (an unexpected occurrence they even lampshade in the FAQ itself). I’ve previously left my thoughts and impressions leading up to and following the release of Age of Sigmar, but I wanted to touch on what my impressions are of the upcoming 8th Edition (I’ve seen it jestingly dubbed “Age of Emperor” as well) and how I think it will stack up to AoS and previous editions of WH40K.


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Friday Update: Wallet Game restart and The Order of Artemis

So I had a chance to play Camel Up last night, and enjoyed it a lot! Coup was also played, during which I tried the infinite Ambassador strategy after making a crucial and damaging error early-on and lost terribly while having a grand time.

However, as I attempted to demonstrate the core ship-building aspect of Boatbuilders, a crucial problem emerged: The table was a laquered smooth wood, and there was a gentle but steady AC vent overhead that was providing an almost-unnoticed breeze.

It was impossible to even get the base set up, let alone anything else.

This is a problem; while I knew breezes and smooth surfaces would be an issue, I hadn’t realized just how bad they could be compared to my relatively-controlled test environment at home. I think the game can be rescued by including 2-4 card clips in the set, and let players adjust how many they used depending on desired difficulty, but the problem is that will immediately bring us outside the scope for the limitations of the cards-only design Button Shy had asked for. So, while I am definitely wanting to hold onto Boatbuilders as a fun, light “pouch”* game, we’ll need to do a redesign asap for a new cards-only wallet game.

*In the vein of games such as Love Letter, Lost Legacy, and Cypher. Mostly just 18ish cards, and maybe a half-dozen small unobtrusive components.


The designing will begin under the cut!

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Tangent: Outsider Game Balancing

Back to our regular schedule of content, after many mini-updates! Today, I wanted to take a bit to talk about outsider game balancing. Outsider here means someone who isn’t the game developer doing the balancing, and I wanted to go over two possible approaches to this balancing aspect.


Not pictured: the third axis that lets you classify a game according to the GNS Theory

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Tangent: Homemade Game Mats

So, a few weeks back I was at an art fair thing in a nearby town, and the local theater was giving away old(ish) movie posters.

That’s how I snagged this:

Apparently it’s about the whale that inspired the Moby Dick story, and the release date got bumped to later this year.

What’s awesome is that the poster is big, like 3′ x 6′ big, and is obscenely high-detail. I’ve got a bunch of the Pirates of the [Fill-in-the-blank] plastic ships, and this is definitely going to be my new game mat to play on top of.

Aw yiss, little plastic ships. I have far more of these than any sane person should. I also have no regrets either.

Plus, if Uncharted Seas ever gets dusted off, my wife and I can duke out the Iron Dwarves vs Bone Griffons on top of there as well.

So what all sources do you guys use for your game mats? Are there any other good posters that would make ideal game mats?

Tangent: Collectibility and Ready-to-play Miniatures

This was sparked by seeing the latest news from WizKids, announcing 44 new D&D miniatures in collectible form. I wanted to touch on where I’ve seen this form of selling miniatures before, and where I think it succeeds and fails.

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